Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has been suspended 10 games for violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Cushing’s suspension was announced Wednesday. His lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, said Cushing “is aware of the negative impact he has had on his team and, most important, his fans. It is with the deepest remorse he humbly apologizes to his fans, teammates, and coaches.”
Cushing will be eligible to return Nov. 28, before the Texans’ game against the Baltimore Ravens. The suspension will cost him more than $4 million in salary. The monetary cost could increase if the Texans elect to try to recoup some of his signing bonus.
According to Steinberg, Cushing will not appeal his suspension. He previously received a four-game suspension in 2010 for testing positive for HCG, a fertility drug on the NFL’s list on banned substances.
Cushing’s suspension comes after he was concussed in the Texans’ 29-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the regular season opener. He had already been ruled out of Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cushing, a 2009 first-round pick out of USC, entered the NFL and showed early signs of being a playmaker.
He had 133 combined tackles (86 solo), four sacks, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 10 passes defended in his first NFL season. Cushing was the 2009 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year but the first suspension almost cost him the award. He kept it after The Associated Press’ revote.
Cushing’s career has been an example of unfulfilled potential.
His play fell off in 2010 after his breakout rookie year. He bounced back in 2011 before missing 20 of 32 regular season games in 2012 and 2013 due to injury. After recording 9.5 sacks in his first three seasons, Cushing only has 2.5 sacks since.